Afreximbank says in second phase of $1.9 bln Kenya Airways financing

NAIROBI, April 1 Tue Apr 1, 2014 3:55am EDT

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NAIROBI, April 1 (Reuters) - The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) said on Tuesday it was in the second phase of a $1.9 billion financing for Kenya Airways, providing funding for 10 Boeing aircraft as the national carrier ramps up its fleet.

Kenya Airways, which is 26.73 percent owned by Air France-KLM, picked Afreximbank in May 2012 to arrange financing for the purchase of ten Embraer-190 planes, nine Boeing 787-800 Dreamliners and one Boeing 777-300ER.

The first phase of the financing, which consists of pre-delivery payments to the aircraft manufacturers, was concluded last November with the delivery of all the Embraer jets.

The first of the Boeing Dreamliners is due to arrive next month, and the rest by July 2015. Kenya Airways will deploy the first on its Paris route as part of a strategy to expand its European routes currently being served by ageing Boeing 767s

Among the largest carriers in Africa, Kenya Airways is ramping up its fleet as part of a 10-year strategic plan premised on ferrying passengers and cargo into and out of Africa through its Nairobi hub.

Afreximbank co-ordinates the financing which also involves Citigroup and JP Morgan Bank.

(Reporting by Duncan Miriri; editing by Sophie Walker)

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